I left off my last blog by promising to discuss the impact of this new information on the phrase “I come from Julius” and the Jello box top.
Walter Schneir notes in Final Verdict that the KGB files as transcribed by The Haunted Wood’s authors “puts the Jello box affair in a startling new perspective.” A KGB file dated February 17, 1945 stated that a recognition signal for that fateful future meeting between Gold and the Greenglasses had not yet been decided upon. The KGB removed Julius from active duty six days later and cut him out of the loop.
Instead, Ruth Greenglass was given the task of creating the recognition signal. In others words Ruth created the Jello box, not Julius! Imagine how my parents felt sitting in the courtroom listening to David and Ruth Greenglass swear that Julius cut the box top in half, gave one half to David and said the courier would have the other half, knowing that they had not been involved in any of this.
No wonder Gold and Greenglass had to be brought together to invent the code phrase “I come from Julius.” Julius was no longer involved when Gold and the Greenglasses met, no one was coming from him, and the KGB would never have permitted either Gold or the Greenglasses to use a code phrase with the first name of an agent they believed had been compromised by the FBI.
These new insights demolish the government’s case that Julius Rosenberg was an atomic spy. All connection between Julius Rosenberg, and the Gold - Greenglass June 1945 meeting at which the sketch related to the bomb's triggering device was supposedly transmitted, has been severed. The September 1945 meeting never took place. And neither of my parents had anything to do with the December 1945 rendezvous at which the Greenglasses – not Julius – gave the sketch the government called "the secret of atomic bomb" to the Soviet Union.
I find this new information staggering. First, it changes my view of my parents’ attorney Emanuel Bloch. His defense at the trial was that the Greenglasses were trying to pin what they did on my parents to save themselves. For decades I thought this was absurd. I was convinced in 1965 by Walter and Miriam’s first book on the case, Invitation to an Inquest, that the government had forced the Greenglasses to make up a crime that never happened, and that Manny Bloch missed the enormity of the fraud perpetrated by the government.
Manny was right and the Schneirs, as well as my brother and I, were wrong. Even my parents’ co-defendant Morton Sobell, who repeatedly said he didn’t really blame the Greenglasses because they were weak, was wrong.
It also changes my view of the Greenglasses. Now I realize that they were much more active spies than I had ever dreamed. They actually did it, and pinned what they did on my parents! The Greenglasses are even more reprehensible than I had imagined.
The Greenglasses greater villainy does not absolve the government. The government played an active role in inventing evidence against both my parents. The government knew the Greenglass sketches were of little value, yet continued to portray my parents as master atomic spies, and knowingly executed two people for a crime they did not commit.
Listen to a public radio interview with co-author Miriam Schneir, and Rosenberg son Michael Meeropol, here.
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